It was "focus on females" as the network honed into synchronized swimming, more gymnastics and the individual dressage finals. While the frenzied Phelps medal race was on, the Netherlands' Anky van Grunsven has been quietly pursuing her third Olympic gold. This is a huge achievement in dressage, where you can't pile up medals the way you can in swimming. In all Olympic history, no individual rider has collected more than two golds. Van Grunsven and Germany's Isabell Werth, the two grandes dames, have been dueling for years.
This time Werth fell short when her Satchmo balked during a piaffe. Van Grunsven and the great Salinero went brilliantly to that third gold. She will be going home to her own hero's welcome in Europe, where dressage riders are treated like rock stars.
Re synch swimming: I used to feel iffy. It was too Hollywood, not athletic enough for me. But the difficulty is being pushed higher with every Olympics. This time the Russian, Japanese and Canadian duets finally sold me. Besides, we're talking about pairs of magnificent women in artistic swim-suits, twining themselves together in fascinating and impossible positions. For lesbian and bi fans, what's not to like?